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dragooneer

Game Theory... in Magic: The Gathering?

For those unfamiliar with the game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_the_gathering

Ludicrous nerdiness aside, the game of M:TG seems to be ripe for some sort of game theory take on it. What I can think of off the top of my head:

- Analysis of metagame, or the composition of decks [essentially strategies] in a tournament. the choice of which deck to pilot is a game in itself (maybe the infamous Combo Winter as a study of equilibrium? not limited to M:TG either, metagaming exists in Starcraft, even, owing to the different build orders)

- The ideal play given a certain board position (effect of incomplete information?, optimal payoff?)

- Mulligan or keep problem (also can be modeled by payoff matrix, incomplete information, probability)

if any of this sounds good, then I'd also like some help extracting a workable research question at some later point. EE work is in the very preliminary stages at this point.

As interesting as this could possibly be from a mathematical standpoint, though, I foresee a few issues coming up that I would like advice on how to overcome:

- How to describe the game theory aspects of M:TG without being bogged down in the specific rules of the game itself. How difficult would it be to summarize the game to only that which is applicable to the math?

- Is it significant enough that the examiner will care?

my primary concern is this: is the topic too farfetched? would I be better off with an analysis of a more 'traditional' game theory game?

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It sounds very good to me, though you'll want to focus on or two aspects. Your topic is an analytical application of game theory instead of a narrative description about game theory, which is what most people suggest as their topic here. However, I read you only study SL Math, do you take AP Calc courses or such, because your mathematics will need to be at a high level to succeed in a mathematics EE.

Don't waste any time on describing the game itself; you can have an appendix in the end of the EE that the examiner can read if he really wants to take a look at the game. It doesn't really matter if they don't understand your topic, the most successful history EEs are often on obscure topics that the examiner has never heard about.

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